ASSEMBLYMAN TRAVIS ALLEN
Bill to Protect Beach Bonfires Passes Out of Senate Committee on Environmental Quality
Assembly Bill 1102 protects the beloved community pastime of beach bonfires in fire rings
SACRAMENTO –Assembly Bill 1102 (Allen, R-Huntington Beach), which will protect beach bonfires for all Californians, overcame a big roadblock and passed out of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality with bipartisan support.
“Beach bonfires are an activity enjoyed by people from all across California, including those who cannot afford multi-million dollar beachfront homes. This legislation will ensure that every Californian has access to our beautiful beaches through the irreplaceable attraction of a beach bonfire,” said Assemblyman Travis Allen. “It’s important that we work together to protect our environment while preserving this historic, safe, and inexpensive family recreational tradition on our beaches.”
The SCAQMD’s recently enacted amendments to Rule 444 to require that fire rings be at least 700 feet away from residences and 100 feet apart – meaning, to remain as they are, the rings would have to be located in the ocean in Newport Beach. This rule would affect bonfire rings in Orange and Los Angeles counties, and went into effect on March 1, 2014. While AB 1102 has successfully prevented the removal of any fire rings, there are still multiple rings in jeopardy of being eliminated.
AB 1102 will protect the Southern California tradition of beach bonfires by requiring the South Coast Air Quality Management District to work with local cities and other coastal oversight agencies to guarantee that there will be no loss of beach access, no harm to local economies, and that any environmental concerns are addressed before a city can remove or relocate the fire rings from the beaches in Orange and Los Angeles counties to be in compliance with Rule 444.
The legislation follows the unanimous passage of ACR 52, which supports access to California’s beaches and the continued enjoyment of the community tradition of beach bonfires. ACR 52 received overwhelming support from both Houses of the Legislature and had 60 co-authors in the Assembly.
“This is an issue that has united many groups and people around our state regardless of political, socioeconomic, or cultural background. AB 1102 will safeguard necessary coastal access protections and environmental concerns while protecting the unique and historic activity of a California beach bonfire,” said Assemblyman Allen.